The Tasting Panel magazine

Oct 09

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Blue Reviews In each issue THE TASTING PANEL's Publisher and Executive Editor, Meridith May, selects her favorite wines and spirits of the month. Check here for the latest arrivals in our offices, the hottest new brands on the market and an occasional revisited classic. wines 90 Brass Tacks 2006 Merlot, Central Coast ($15) Rich, full-fla- vored and fruit-forward; juicy with body and streamlined tannins; nice, nuanced vanilla and a holiday pie melding of nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. INTWINE MARKETING 90 Lazy Creek Vineyards 2007 Gewürztraminer, Anderson Valley ($26) Crisp and dry, wa- ter chestnuts melt into Asian pear; aromatic to the hilt. FERRARI-CARANO 93 Kiamie Wine Cellars 2006 Kuvée, Paso Robles ($44) Aged over 18 months in Hungarian and French oak, this wine is not about the fruit (Bordeaux-like, as nothing dominates) as much as the complexity of its earthy, rustic soul. Deep coffee and dusty tan- nins play a role along with roses, violets and dark chocolate raspberry. It's all in balance, lingering with old-school nuances and restrained fruit. 92 Finca [ñ] 2007 Malbec, Mendoza, Alto Valle de Uco, Argentina ($20) Evokes sunshine and silky concentration: blackberry, cassis and lavender are just the beginning; a lush coat of polished tannins and vibrant fruit complete the package. FREIXENET USA 89 Elyssia Pinot Noir Brut Cava, Spain ($18) A new non-vintage rosado cava from Freixenet; dry and dusty notes, similar to a Proven- cal rosé, lit up with raspberry freshness. 15% Trepat. FREIXENET USA 94 Jarvis 2007 Cabernet Franc, Will Jarvis' Science Project, Napa Valley ($105) Wine- maker Dimitri Tchelistcheff ages this Cab Franc for nine months in small 100% new French oak bar- rels to create an astonishing wine that ranges from überfruit to spiced austerity, enclosed in a fleshy and juicy wine; black olives, black berries and satin remain intact. Picks 91 Vermont Gold Vodka, USA ($38) Vanilla, nutmeg, cin- namon and subtle pepper notes meld with maple, conjuring an almost dessert- like spirit that can rival the best crème brûlée or tapioca pudding; nuts and marzipan on the palate second that motion. Made from maple sap. VERMONT SPIRITS 91 Atlantico Private Cask Rum, Domini- can Republic ($35) Multifaceted nose of English toffee and butter; notes of orange pekoe tea and sassafras/rootbeer combine on the palate and push through to a spicy mature finish. ATLANTICO IMPORTING COMPANY Publisher's spirits 54 / the tasting panel / october 2009

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